Beacon how they work

What is iBeacon? What are iBeacons? 

The term iBeacon and Beacon are often used interchangeably. iBeacon is the name for Apple’s technology standard, which allows Mobile Apps (running on both iOS and Android devices) to listen for signals from beacons in the physical world and react accordingly. In essence, iBeacon technology allows Mobile Apps to understand their position on a micro-local scale, and deliver hyper-contextual content to users based on location. The underlying communication technology is Bluetooth Low Energy.

iBeacon Contextual, Hyperlocal Content

iBeacon Contextual, Hyperlocal Content

What is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)?

Bluetooth Low Energy is a wireless personal area network technology used for transmitting data over short distances. As the name implies, it’s designed for low energy consumption and cost, while maintaining a communication range similar to that of its predecessor, Classic Bluetooth.

How is BLE different from Regular Bluetooth?

  • Power Consumption: Bluetooth LE, as the name hints, has low energy requirements. It can last up to 3 years on a single coin cell battery.
  • Lower Cost: BLE is 60-80% cheaper than traditional Bluetooth.
  • Application: BLE is ideal for simple applications requiring small periodic transfers of data. Classic Bluetooth is preferred for more complex applications requiring consistent communication and more data throughput.

How does BLE communication work?

BLE communication consists primarily of “Advertisements”, or small packets of data, broadcast at a regular interval by Beacons or other BLE enabled devices via radio waves.

BLE Advertising is a one-way communication method. Beacons that want to be “discovered” can broadcast, or “Advertise” self-contained packets of data in set intervals. These packets are meant to be collected by devices like smartphones, where they can be used for a variety of smartphone applications to trigger things like push messages, app actions, and prompts.

Apple’s iBeacon standard calls for an optimal broadcast interval of 100 ms.  Broadcasting more frequently uses more battery life but allows for quicker discovery by smartphones and other listening devices.

Standard BLE has a broadcast range of up to 100 meters, which make Beacons ideal for indoor location tracking and awareness.

 

iBeacon Detection Example

Source: Nerdery

 

Why is iBeacon a Big Deal? 

With an iBeacon network, any brand, retailer, app, or platform will be able to understand exactly where a customer is in the brick and mortar environment. This provides an opportunity to send customers highly contextual, hyper-local, meaningful messages and advertisements on their smartphones.

The typical scenario looks like this.

How iBeacons Work

How IBeacons work(Source estimote.com)

A consumer carrying a smartphone walks into a store. Apps installed on a consumer’s smartphone listen for iBeacons. When an app hears an iBeacon, it communicates the relevant data (UUID, Major, Minor, Tx) to its server, which then triggers an action. This could be something as simple as a push message [“Welcome to Target! Check out Doritos on Aisle 3!”], and could include other things like targeted advertisements, special offers, and helpful reminders [“You’re out of Milk!”]. Other potential applications include mobile payments and shopper analytics and implementation outside of retail, at airports, concert venues, theme parks, and more. The potential is limitless.

This technology should bring about a paradigm shift in the way brands communicate with consumers. iBeacon provides a digital extension into the physical world. We’re excited to see where iBeacon technology goes in the next few years.

Source - IbeaconInsider

 

Contact Us

We are committed to giving you a Mobile  App for your business at a price you can afford.

Phone: 1300 612 772

Contact us

Terms & Conditions